the barriers they face in practicing Bar to poll public about its knowledge of the judiciary January 15, 2006 Regular News Bar to poll public about its knowledge of the judiciary Another survey will ask disabled lawyers about The Florida Bar is moving to poll Floridians’ knowledge about government and the judiciary, as well as ask disabled lawyers about barriers they face in practicing law.The board approved both polls at its December 16 meeting. Both were recommended by the Budget, Program Evaluation, and Communications committees.Communications Committee Chair Kimberly Bald said the poll of Floridians will probe their knowledge about government, particularly the relationship between the judiciary and the other branches. It will parallel, she said, a recent ABA national survey that had surprising results.Those included that only about half of those questioned could name three branches of government, with some guessing they were “Republicans, Democrats, and independents,” and others responding “local, state, and federal.”It also showed that most Americans were unfamiliar with the concept of separation of powers.Bald said the results will be used by Bar President Alan Bookman in upcoming newspaper editorial board meetings and public appearances. Those include an appearance with ABA President Mike Greco, scheduled for January 12 in Tampa, after this News went to press.The board approved spending $18,500 to conduct the survey.The second survey will use the Bar’s Web site to poll disabled attorneys about problems they face practicing law.PEC Chair Frank Walker said this was the first time the Bar would utilize its Web site, www.floridabar.org, for polling.Questions will be posted “for lawyers with disabilities to respond and set forth the barriers and the problems they are having in the practice of law,” he said.“It’s a great program. We should get great results out of this and great information.”The board approved spending $28,633 on that survey.The survey is part of the Disability-Diversity Initiative being conducted by the Disability Independence Group.“The goal of the initiative is to identify attitudinal, physical, and communication barriers that prohibit the full participation of Florida attorneys with disabilities and to propose creative recommendations and solutions to these barriers,” according to information provided to the board.